Belgium-based Parkwind has agreed to become a strategic partner in the 330MW Oriel windfarm, which is planned to be built off the shore of North Irish Sea.

When completed, the farm will be one of the first fully operational commercial windfarms built in Irish waters.

Oriel’s founder and board member Brian Britton said: “In our search for a strategic partner, several international offshore wind players were interested in acquiring a stake.

“Our choice for Parkwind is driven by the strong track record and values the company Parkwind stands for.

“We believe that Parkwind can bring in the necessary knowledge and pioneering spirit to bring this project to a successful end.”

“The project is expected to supply clean electricity to 250,000 Irish homes.”

The project is expected to supply clean electricity to 250,000 Irish homes, reduce 600,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions, and create more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.

Parkwind co-CEO François Van Leeuw said: “Parkwind has a firm ambition to grow internationally.

“After the successful development and construction of 550MW in the North Sea, we were able to shift our focus quickly to evolve from an experienced but strictly Belgian business to an international player in the offshore wind industry.”

Parkwind aims to have more than 1,000MW of offshore wind production capacity in operation by 2020 to contribute towards the 20/20 European targets of sustainable energy.